Patent Troll That Sued EFF And Lost... Now Loses Its Bullshit Patent As Well

from the trolling-karma dept

Remember GEMSA (Global Equty Management (SA) Pty. Ltd.)? That's the Australian patent troll who "won" a Stupid Patent of the Month award from EFF for its silly patent (US Patent 6,690,400 on "virtual cabinets representing a discrete operating system." GEMSA sued a bunch of companies, including Airbnb and Zillow for supposedly violating the patent. Oh, and then it sued EFF in Australia, getting an order from the court demanding that EFF take down its article and barring EFF from ever publishing anything about any GEMSA patents.

That kinda thing is not going to fly in the US, and so EFF went to court in the US, seeking declaratory judgment that such an Australian court order was totally unenforceable in the US under the SPEECH Act. Late last year, the court gave a thorough and complete victory to EFF, making it clear that GEMSA could not, in any way, hope to enforce its Australian order in the US, as it clearly would violate EFF's First Amendment rights.

And now, the US Patent Office has basically killed GEMSA's patent that EFF called out in the first place, via the all important inter partes review system that is currently being challenged at the Supreme Court (ruling coming soon...).

The ’400 patent described its “invention” as “a Graphic User Interface (GUI) that enables a user to virtualize the system and to define secondary storage physical devices through the graphical depiction of cabinets.” In other words, virtual storage cabinets on a computer. E-Bay, Alibaba, and Booking.com, filed a petition for inter partes review arguing that claims from the ’400 patent were obvious in light of the Partition Magic 3.0 User Guide (1997) from PowerQuest Corporation. Three administrative patent judges from the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) agreed.

The PTAB opinion notes that Partition Magic’s user guide teaches each part of the patent’s Claim 1, including the portrayal of a “cabinet selection button bar,” a “secondary storage partitions window,” and a “cabinet visible partition window.”

The opinion demonstrated this graphically as well:

The PTAB laughed off GEMSA's argument that the original owner of the patent, Flash Vos, somehow "moved the computer industry a quantum leap forward in the late 90's" by pointing out that GEMSA "has put forth no evidence that Flash Vos or GEMSA actually had any commercial success." Ouch.

I'm curious if GEMSA will now seek to sue the US Patent Office in Australia as well...

Filed Under: australia, inter partes review, ipr, patent troll, stupid patent, virtual cabinets
Companies: eff, gemsa


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  1. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2018 @ 3:52pm

    A few more victories on scale of this and you'll have...

    hmmm... uh... Okay, I'm stuck, can't think of any advantage or benefit. -- Oh! I know! YOU'LL have another safe topic to re-write!

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    HegemonicDistortion (profile), 24 Apr 2018 @ 4:10pm

    scotus

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Apr 2018 @ 4:48pm

    I'm curious if GEMSA will now seek to sue the US Patent Office in Australia as well

    I would guess that their luck might be down-and-out there, too.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. identicon
    Pixelation, 24 Apr 2018 @ 5:36pm

    You know it's really bad when...

    the judge tells you you suck.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2018 @ 5:48pm

    It would seem like patent trolls should be required by law to refund all previous settlements when the patent is invalidated. Though more likely it means additional rounds of expensive litigation with the end result of any court victory being a technically bankrupt trolling entity because the money was shifted to another shell company structured to be legally out of reach of any liability claims.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    Thad, 24 Apr 2018 @ 5:52pm

    The PTAB laughed off GEMSA's argument that the original owner of the patent, Flash Vos, somehow "moved the computer industry a quantum leap forward in the late 90's" by pointing out that GEMSA "has put forth no evidence that Flash Vos or GEMSA actually had any commercial success." Ouch.

    Much like how if somebody were to create an e-mail implementation but subsequently produce no evidence that anybody else ever used it as a basis for standardized e-mail protocols, that person would not have a reasonable claim to be the inventor of e-mail.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Toom1275 (profile), 24 Apr 2018 @ 6:04pm

    Re: scotus

    And the USSC hammered another nail into the coffin of the "You have private property rights to IP" myth.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Apr 2018 @ 6:18pm

    Re:

    But who would ever do such a heinous thing? 🤔

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2018 @ 6:20pm

    out_of_the_blue and tp are really not going to like this, are they?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2018 @ 6:58pm

    So the court just told GEMSA to EFF off

    and don't come back.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Apr 2018 @ 9:12pm

    And GEMSA registered business address is actually for this house, in South Australia.

    Given its a 2 bedroom house, GEMSA couldn't comprise of more than 2 people.
    https://www.realestate.com.au/property/458-morphett-rd-warradale-sa-5046

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
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    CongHau (profile), 25 Apr 2018 @ 1:18am

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    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    CongHau (profile), 25 Apr 2018 @ 1:18am

    Re:

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. identicon
    Annonymouse, 25 Apr 2018 @ 10:13am

    A quantum leap

    So literally next to nothing.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Apr 2018 @ 8:58am

    They had a patent on bullshit?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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